One issue I’ve discovered—at least over the last year—with giving up writing a blog exclusively about my health and my cancer situation, is that I have very little to write about other than my travels. Or, if that is not exactly true, I have had very little time to write about anything other than my travels. Even my last stay in Jerome Creek, with all the troubles (manufactured and not), afforded me more time to write than being back in Seattle has since them. This has not been an altogether bad thing; on the contrary, I’ve greatly enjoyed flitting all over the globe, filling my thickening passport with extra pages and stamps and visas. However, it’s meant that when I’m home in Seattle I am necessarily spending a lot of time living health care. It doesn’t leave a lot of time to just live.
I am writing this from the SCCA clinic today, my 40th birthday (holy cow—FOUR-ZERO!), because tomorrow morning we leave on another sweeping international adventure. We’re going to South America with my mom and Marsh and a friend of theirs. I’ve been the
main only travel agent (with the exception of our lodging in
Rio, which Ian secured), and even though I have a small grasp of Portuguese and a
smaller grasp of Spanish, and even though Ian and I could make our way reasonably
comfortably across our neighbor continent to the south, I’m looking forward to
handing in my keycard and company computer at SeaTac tomorrow morning and
letting Mom do the speaking in Brazil and A.T., a retired high school Spanish
teacher, lead us through Bolivia and Peru.
I already feel different today. I have spent 2012 thinking about how I’d like to change my ways of being. How to stick up for myself and my needs (including how to recognize my needs), while still being a force for good in the world. How to determine which parts of my life are necessary and which parts are chaff. How to recognize Truth in others; how to protect myself from exploitation—whether conscious or not—from those who haven’t yet found their own peace. I have begun a practice of energy work and introspection that has allowed me to flush mental chatter and open up vast swaths of space in my days. I am still doing as much, but I am now usually on time and unhurried.
I am looking forward to calendar space as well as mental space in the coming year. As I’ve cleared clutter, I’ve come to re-recognize the beauty of my surroundings here at my home in Seattle, and at our budding home on Orcas. I am excited to spend time here, in the coming year, that is free from medical appointments, and free from travel planning. I have spent 13 weeks away from home since last November, more than 3 months, on 4 continents. I’ll hit continent 5 on Sunday, 5 within a year. This is, and has been, thrilling, but 3 months away doesn’t begin to include all the time involved in planning those trips. Not surprisingly, healthcare became truly a full-time job when I was in town.
My time at the clinic today has come to an end and I’m back home, and now I am in desperate need of getting the actual items into the actual luggage so that I’ll have, at the very least, a change of clothes for balmy Rio Sunday afternoon. And maybe my meds.